Daniel Ricciardo has stepped up his preparations for 2016 and says he will be training hard now to get 'lean and mean' for the season opener in his native Australia.

Ricciardo was back in action this week during the Pirelli wet tyre test at Paul Ricard in France, and after a winless campaign last year, added that his hope for the coming season is 'get back on the winning column'.

Asked if it is now full-steam ahead for Melbourne, Ricciardo told Red Bull's official website: "Yep, now back in Europe and stepping up the preparations for the new year. The first few weeks will mostly be a lot of photoshoots and marketing days and just getting things in line.

"But obviously, it's still a very key period for us in terms of training, so if we're not doing media stuff, you'll usually find us training and getting ready for Melbourne to get lean and mean for mid-March."

Meanwhile, Ricciardo said that while he had enjoyed the winter break and some time with family and friends, he is very much focused now on F1 2016.

"All of December, the aim was to pretty much just get some time off. I had one or two commitments here and there, like our show run in Perth in my home City as well, which was cool. But apart from that just hanging out with friends, riding bikes and just being a boy, being a kid while I can. It's good fun," he noted.

"The best moment was just being able to let my hair down and do things that I can't really do during the season because we're just busy and hang out with friends and family, a lot of valuable time there.

"Worst moment of the off-season was I'd say just getting back into training mode. It's going to be a long time again until I can let my hair down and relax, but equally it's fantastic to get back switched on and focused on the season."



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